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China becomes No. 1 source for international students in U.S.

Nearly 128,000 international students from China are studying in American universities and colleges during the 2009/2010 academic year, making China the No. 1 source for international students in the U.S. higher education system, a report said in Washington on Monday.

Chinese student enrollment in the United States, increasing by a dramatic 30 percent despite a global economic downturn, represents more than 18 percent of the total international student population in the country, said the "Open Doors 2010 International Students in the U.S.", a report released by the Washington-based Institute of International Education (IIE).

The report said business and management remain the most popular field of study for international students in the United States, comprising 21 percent of the total, followed by engineering, comprising 18 percent of the total. Math and Computer Science is another popular major, with an enrollment increase of 8 percent from the previous year.

The "Open Doors" report is published annually by the IIE, a nonprofit organization with a focus on international education, with the support from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. State Department.

"Following China, Indian students represent 15 percent of all international students in U.S. higher education," said the report. "Together, the top three sending countries -- China, India and South Korea -- comprise nearly half (44 percent) of the total international enrollments in U.S. higher education."

"Among the other leading places of origin, the most notable decline was seen in students from Japan, with a 15 percent decline following a 14 percent drop the previous year," said the report.

According to the report, universities in California hosted the largest number of foreign students with 94,279, followed by New York and Texas. The New York City metropolitan area continues to be the leading city for international students, followed by the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

University of Southern California hosted the largest number of international students for the ninth consecutive year, reporting 7, 987, said the report. It is followed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (7,287) and New York University (7,276). 

Source: Xinhua

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